18 February 2011

Latvija: More Baltic Fashion

Latvia is the last country on the fashion radar this week.  There will be reprisals on fashion week, do not fear, but today marks the last day of CEE fashion, for this week at least.

mareunrols.com
The label mareunrol, the collaborative love child of Mārīte Mastiņa and Rolands Pēterkops, was found via this blog on Estonian fashion (though incorrectly referenced as "Mare & Rol").  The blog lauded them for their show in Tallinn in 2005 and I set out to find their stuff.  Their website is one of the best I've encountered yet because it's easy to navigate,  not completely hindered by Flash, and they explain the inspiration behind their collections.  I wish this was in the rest of the websites I found this week because it makes it so much easier to get what they're all about.  As soon as I read this from the about section, I was very much on board:

"Mareunrol's collections are concept based where they designed clothes are very often accompanied by specially designed sets, scenography, video projections and installations, photography, i.e. any creative outputs, that can help to tell they story.  They look for new mediums of presenting fashion and find new art disciplines that could be incorporated into the world of fashion design. This is why in mareunrol's shows it seems to be avant-garde, but in reality it's wearable fashion.  They want to show an existing environment that is not always evident, though it's right under our noses, combine reality with the surreal feeling.   For them it is very important that each detail has a purpose and a meaning and that mareunrol's clothes tell their own story and live their own lives"

That paragraph pretty much convinced me that attending their show much be a very imaginative experience.  When I looked through their various collections, I realized that once you stripped away the props, the clothes themselves really weren't that avant garde.  It certainly makes street fashion seem more intelligent and artistic than one would otherwise believe.  I highly suggest visiting their site because it's the best one I've found all week and it's artistic street clothes.  My eyes may mist over a little...

hypnosisfashion.lv
Hypnosis Fashion, the label backed by Agnese Narnicka, is the next Latvian designer of note.  Her clothes are street wear as well, but after browsing the collections, I've come to the conclusion that her clothes represent a futuristic utopia.  Utopian uniforms are typically devoid of any details that allow for differentiation and usually end up looking like Middle Eastern robes minus embroidery and color.  This isn't to say her collection is devoid of any details; the clothes are constructed in a way that looks really simple and straightforward, but with interesting panels and asymmetrical hems.  It's smart street wear with a clean look and almost other worldly lighting (her clothes looks like they're made out of futuristic material in some photos).  She has two websites, one with her name and the other her label.  You can download her lookbook from the namesake site, but browse more collections from her label's site.  Her jean designs are fascinating, especially the ones with a buttoned cuff at the bottom, but I'm not a huge fan of the amount of bunched slouch in the pant.  Her minimalism takes a little while to get used to and appreciate, but it does grow on you.

fashion.lv
Anita Altmane is the next lucky Latvian.  I watched this video of her Riga Fashion Week show in 2010 and I loved the blue coat with the black scalloped flap.  The metallic dress was an interesting modern-stained glass combination that made me think of Mucha and art nouveau.  I do, however, tend to link my associations pretty far back into my subconscious library.  The photo to the left is not the clothing in the video (sadly), but the clothes in the featured collection are wearable with a bit haute couture.  The shoes are ridiculous and the boots have fabric flailing all over the place.  The over the top shoes just add to the shoulders and draped clothes.  It's out there without being over the top.




delfi.lv
This collection by Inga Nipane was fantastic (stills are here).  The street wear outfits seemed thrown in there, but after viewing the whole thing, I realized they would've made more sense in a different order.  The clothes looked inspired by articulated armor and this was translated into a more commercial look by draping and smocking for the same construction, but with a Grecian feel.  If the more commercial outfits were placed after the draped clothes after the armor clothes, it would have looked like disarming a hard exterior.  If my projected concept matches it at all, then the new order would've hit that one out of the park.  And I would die to have one of her articulated armor inspired grey wool coats (l).  Too much too love.  Send me a coat plz.






I can't do all the Latvian fashion service.  I will have to refer you to fashion.lv (you can simply use Google Translator if you lack a knowledge of Latvian).  I linked to the part of the site about Riga Fashion Week, where you can scroll through and look at the variety of designs.  You can also look at the right side bar of the YouTube videos I link to in order to view more designers that I haven't featured.  There's plenty to warrant several posts (some of the details are so clever!), but I'm only human.  Enjoy your weekend!

*A note of thanks to this website for being an excellent reference for Latvian fashion.

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